Whether you’re an artist, writer, designer or photographer, at times we all struggle to get the creative juices flowing.
Now more than ever, that struggle is real. Many of us are dealing with pandemic or lockdown fatigue. This can be described as a feeling of being demotivated, sluggish or exhausted due to disrupted routines, underlying stress, poor sleep and so on.
If, for whatever reason, you find yourself dealing with artist block, here are five tips to help you pick up that brush and make some magic.
Tip #1: Employ the “Seinfeld Strategy”
Successful comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, did something every day that most of us don’t.
What was his secret to success?
In his own words, “the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day”, Seinfeld explains.
The method he used was simple. He marked an X on a wall calendar for each day he spent time writing. After a few days he had a chain, and his only goal was to ‘not break the chain’.
The beauty in this approach is the focus is on the process, rather than the quality of what is produced each day.
This is one thing elite performers in every field have in common.
As an artist, this means allocating x minutes each day to paint/draw/create something. Anything.
Don’t focus on how good it is, or whether you are feeling motivated or not, just focus on creating something and not breaking your chain.
Tip #2: Declutter or change up your studio space
You may have heard the phrase “Clear space, clear mind.” Thanks to Marie Kondo, people are becoming more aware of the psychological benefits of de-cluttering their living spaces.
The same applies to work spaces. How your studio runs effects how you function as an artist.
Is it cluttered?
Is it easy to find all the tools you need to work?
Not having easy access to space, or the tools you need to use can add to any daily frustration and make it harder to get started. Not to mention, the simple act of decluttering makes us feel lighter, more focused and more creative.
Is the space inspiring?
What can you change to make it a more motivating space?
Sometimes all you need is a little variety, something new to look at. Try getting a new plant, a motivational quote, pictures for your walls, even small changes can be refreshing.
Tip #3: Internal and external inspiration
It’s easy to lose hours on Instagram searching for ideas and looking at other artists work for inspiration. And there’s nothing wrong with a little research. It may just spark a new idea.
Just don’t spend too much time consuming other peoples ideas, or analysing new techniques. It can become a little paralysing.
Instead try looking within yourself. What else inspires you?
Think of something that grabbed your attention recently, look around outside or within your surrounds.
Ask the ‘why’ questions we often ask as kids but don’t have time to as adults. Be curious and playful. Inspiration and creation will likely follow.
Tip #4: Get outside and move
Even if you’re not one for a walk in the bush or stroll along the beach, it’s been scientifically proven that nature does amazingly good things to our brains.
Not only does it make us healthier, it makes us happier and smarter too.
Sometimes just adding a slither of nature to your studio space, like a few flowers from the garden, can help.
You may not be a floral artist, or even be remotely interested in nature, but sometimes just having a touch something green will add some positive, natural energy to your space.
Tip #5: Coffee
If all else fails, drink coffee.
Lots and lots of coffee.
Now off you go, no pressure. Start creating.
Top 5 tips for artists to succeed on instagram.
How to care for your fine art prints